Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors!
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PATH OF BONES, the second book in the epic fantasy Skullborn Trilogy and the sequel to CITY OF SCARS, will be unleashed upon the world on February 7th. Here’s a taste from a scene when fallen knight Azander Dane and his giant companion Kruje smuggle themselves into the criminal city of Kaldrak Iyres in pursuit of the dream witch, Ijanna Taivorkan.
Kaldrak Iyres’ water channels had been designed to discourage attacks originating from the lake, and they spread under the city like a spider’s web. Most of the tunnels were wide enough to accommodate sailing vessels and small warships, but their confusing layout made direct access to the docks all but impossible, and it required patience and careful navigation to avoid colliding with the curved walls lined with murder holes, siege weapons and Veilcrafted traps capable of turning even a stout frigate into a flaming husk by the time it reached any place it could do significant damage.
Dane piloted their ship through the twisted tunnels. Lit braziers set in alcoves in the sandstone walls cast blazing illumination, and only the steady flow of wind kept the tunnels from clogging up with dark smoke. The waterways were busy, and it took careful piloting to avoid the other ships coming and going from the docks: sleek Raithian vessels with dark furled sails and black-clad pirates wearing facial chains and scimitars; stout Blackmoon warships, iron-clad boats churning flames from their Veilcrafted engines whose painted crews and well-paid war mages constantly watched for signs of trouble; sinuous schooners out of the Scorpion Isles, fast ships curved like daggers and manned by veiled women with filed teeth and eunuch weapons masters. All of those crafts were loaded down with contraband and illegal goods, everything from narcotics and stolen steel to whores and slaves. Money flowed in and of Kaldrak Iyres day and night, as the city was a major staging point for dark trade to the west and south, and in many ways it was considered the base of power for the dreaded Phage.
Platinum-scaled fish populated the waters; Dane recalled that it was considered good luck to consume them, and small fishing boats weaved in and out of the traffic both on the Lake and in the tunnels as they tried to pull in a catch.
Find out more about PATH OF BONES here. In the meantime, have a terrific weekend!